At the very least, send a beautiful card, like this one from

At the very least, send a beautiful card, like this one from

Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. And this year, I’m getting you all prepared for it a bit early, so you’re not caught off-guard. Since it’s exactly one month after my birthday, I’m an expert on gifts at this time of year, because loving presents, (and gestures,) are fresh in my mind.

So, here’s my annual list of gifts that are just right for all types of loved ones. I included one or two in each category. Most of these will give the giver as much joy as they give the receiver, (especially if its something you can share, like several of these ideas are, especially the last three) which is that way it should always be!

You may notice that I didn’t do any specific ones for men this year. That’s because Mr. X eschews “man” gifts, feeling he’d rather choose his own ties, shirts, wallets, etc. So, I’ve resorted to what my family used to do for my father on all occasions—candy! And that’s really what Mr. X likes best anyway, but would never buy for himself. So, look away, Mr. X—the first suggestion is for you! (And most are uni-sex anyway.)

Here goes:

For the Sweet-Toothed One:

Photo by Karen Salkin.

Photo by Karen Salkin.

My Candy Basket—These custom-made candy gift baskets are not only delish, they’re absolutely gorgeous! I received one recently, and, no fooling, it took Mr. X and me a week to open it because we wanted to just admire the stunning packaging for awhile! You can design your own, or just go with an already-created one. There are so many beautiful color-schemes to choose from, and the variety of candies is overwhelming. And, for those of you to whom this matters, it’s all Kosher!

For the Soul-, Good Luck-, Peace-, and Happiness-Seeker (that about covers it, doesn’t it?):

2-house-clearing-15soulva-stickSoulva Sticks–This is one that everybody should have in their house. It’s a bundle of organically-grown herbs that you burn to purify your surroundings. Since Mr. X and I first discovered the Soulva in August, we use ours often. Whenever something starts to go a little bit wrong, Mr. X suggest we burn it. And the instructions are easy, and even better, fun to follow. We actually have a good time doing everything probably even more than directed. And it works! We seriously always feel better after! Someone put it to me like this: “It gets rid of the bad stuff to make room for the good stuff.” Now, if only they could make one for the body, that gets rid of the fat to make room for the muscle, I’d be all set!

For the Fashionista:

porcupine_ff_vest_1Kathy Fielder Collection—It was hard to choose just one item from Kathy Fielder’s eclectic boutique, so I chose two! First up are the faux fur vests. My colleague, Alice, (who’s also a stylist,) went nuts when we discovered them in person, and raved, “They look great with everything and anything! It’s a great winter go-to item, no matter what climate you live in! You can dress it down with jeans, or way up with a dress. But it’s stunning no matter which way you go!”

I’m more inclined towards Kathy’s monogrammed clutches. You order it with your own two initials on it, of course. That way, if Lindsay Lohan (or any other sticky-fingered fool) tries to steal it at a club, (just sayin’,) you can prove it’s yours!

For the Beauty Junkie:

beautiful-brow-stencilsChella Eyebrow Stencils—I came upon this cosmetics company this summer, when a make-up artist used one of their eyebrow stencils on me. That was in July, and the shape lasted until last week! And this is six months later! That’s a first for me! She told me that it was really easy to use, too, so I guess it makes the at-home user practically a pro! (I don’t own the kit yet, but, if Mr. X doesn’t get this hint, it’s so affordable that I’ll just order one for myself, pronto.)

For the New York Foodie (and visitors to that confusing city):

zagat-2015Zagat—Sadly, this year the famous food guide company made one for only New York City, rather than the twenty or so other cities that were also in their stable. (And, trust me, we sorely miss them in Los Angeles!) But the good news for the residents of (and tourists in) the Big Apple is that you can still get the new 2015 one for that city. I seriously can’t tell you how jealous am. They’re always available in the few bookstores left in the world, and also on-line. Happy eating!

For the Los Angeles Foodie (especially ones who like to do good at the same time!):

720ec1b7fd705265ee5a5eebde9eff69Planned Parenthood’s Annual Food Fare—This one is not to be missed! You can’t do it on actual Valentine’s Day, but receiving tickets to this upcoming charity food-fest will certainly make the recipient love you! It’s being held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Thursday, March 5, 2015, and you have a choice of the daytime session (11am-2pm) or the evening one (6:30-9:30pm,) so it fits all of our busy schedules. There will be over one hundred restaurants (and caterers) participating, so, no matter what one’s palette craves, there’s sure to be something for everyone. And at the same time, your tickets will be helping to support the Planned Parenthood Los Angeles Guild; they provide financial, and emotional, support for those who need that assistance. So, it’s a win, all the way around. And you might even run into me there! (At the Food Fare, not Planned Parenthood, although I wouldn’t mind volunteering at the latter.) I’m definitely going to the Food Fare; I just don’t know if I’ll be looking-up from the food tables long enough for you to see me!

For the Los Angeles Culture Lover (which is my personal favorite category):

image001Russian National Ballet Theatre—There’s nothing better than Russian Ballet to me, in the dance category. And you don’t have to give the recipient tickets for another time; you get to do this on actual Valentine’s Day! This company will be dancing two different programs at Valley Performing Arts Center on Valentine’s Day week-end, (February 13 and 14,) so this gift will manifest right away. And what could be more romantic than a ballet?! (I’m leaving Mr. X home, because he’s only a hip-hopper, and going with a female pal. Which is fine, too. I love my friends!) Friday, February 13 will be a colorful production of Don Quixote. And Saturday, February 14, will bring us a Gala Performance, consisting of a potpourri of famous ballets from the great choreographer, Marius Petipa, which I could not be more excited about! They include The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, and The Dying Swan. I can’t imagine a better composite program.

Photo by Lionel Montagnier.

Photo by Lionel Montagnier.

Les 7 Doigts de la Main—Having been in a circus myself, I’m always fascinated by the genre. And I can’t wait to see this modern-day troop’s show, Séquence 8, at the Valley Performing Arts Center on February 19, just a few days after Valentine’s Day, (which I like to call “Valentine’s Week,” just in case Mr. X goofs up on the day.) It’s not a circus, per se—no animals. But it’s the best part of one–acrobatics. This Canadian troupe will perform what’s been described as “an explosive acrobatic dance and theater piece, with high-volume electro music, that contemplates the role of the ‘other,’ and how we define ourselves through and against it.” I couldn’t even convey that concept through my writing, let alone act it out!  I can’t wait to see how they do all that. I think this will be the perfect event for fans of any kind of movement at all. Hope to see you there, with or without your own Valentine.

That’s it for this year. Happy Gifting!


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